One canyon leads to another this morning until eventually the trail twists us up through golden oak trees and aspens rattling in the wind. We're still on the CDT, so it's a game of up and down, but mostly up, with a trail that's mostly easy to follow. We often get views of the distant mountains all painted in fall colors.
Right before lunch we see the return of the thorn-laden, overgrown trail. I'm wearing my old, worn down hiking pants which are too thin to stand up to these thickets. They rip right away in two places. This bums me out way more than expected. I've been through so much with these pants! I change into shorts before my pants get ripped more than I can repair.
My legs get scratched all afternoon but I am unfazed on account of how great the views are. The trail is rough but I'm just dazzled by the beauty of it all. Finally we start our descent, leaving the CDT and ending up on the wrong trail. Luckily, this one leads where we wanna go, too.
We follow diamond creek all the way down. It's more water than we've seen this whole time. The trail crosses the creek about forty times in three miles, usually just easy rock-hops. But this doesn't stop me from slipping and getting my feet wet. After spending a few hours navigating the tall grasses of creek side meadows, we stop to camp just before the next climb.
Our legs are weary from all the up and down today. Gila hot springs is our next stop and we're ready for a good soak. So tonight, we fall asleep dreaming about hot springs.
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